The real useful work that computers do involves not just you but also the outside world. Your computer must be able to communicate to put its intelligence to work. When your computer communicates with other systems far away, the process is often called telecommunications. When your computer connects with other computers over a network, engineers call the communication capability connectivity. When your computer plugs into printers and other nearby peripherals, engineers say your computer is doing what it's supposed to—there's no fancy word for it. No matter. Thanks to the communication capabilities of your computer, it can link to any of a number of hardware peripherals through its network jacks and input/output ports. Better still, ...

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